Much to the chagrin of, well, most of the people on the internet I assume, reddit has officially begun their blackout in protest of SOPA and PIPA.
Reddit will be dark from 8 am EST to 8 pm EST, during which they advise users not to panic, drink a cup of coffee and grab your towel.
Visiting reddit.com sends you to a landing page where this message is displayed to redditors:
Today, for 12 hours, reddit.com goes dark to raise awareness of two bills in congress: H.R.3261 “Stop Online Piracy Act” and S.968 “PROTECT IP”, which could radically change the landscape of the Internet. These bills provide overly broad mechanisms for enforcement of copyright which would restrict innovation and threaten the existence of websites with user-submitted content, such as reddit.
Please take today as a day of focus and action to learn about these destructive bills and do what you can to prevent them from becoming reality.
From there, users can follow links to call their congresspersons or sign a petition against the legislation as well as read more about the facts of SOPA / PIPA with a FAQ section.
Reddit also displays this video, a pretty popular one for blacked out sites today. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a good, succinct breakdown of the dangers of SOPA / PIPA.
While reddit is only scheduled for a 12 hour blackout, some sites like Wikipedia, Boing Boing and WordPress began a 24 hour blackout at midnight. Prominent sites like Google and Craigslist are also participating with faux-blackouts that don’t really disrupt normal services.